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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Well, I'm tired, my team lost their hockey game and I have to get to bed soon as I have to work tomorrow.  I have no energy, but I have just about enough to give you my swoon of the week which I actually just found not too long ago.

Swoon Thursday? you say?  Tell me how it works.

Well, it's simple. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!
Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by
Today's selection is from Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout.  Man, I really need to get some new material, but her books are lousy with swoons.  I had meant to read something else after Pure and I did.  I just finished reading Odd and the Frost Giant by Neil Gaiman, but it is so not a swoony kind of book.  So, I decided to go back to the Covenant series as I can't seem to put them down.  And let me tell you, there are already revelations made and I'm not that far into the book.  Oh my!
But, as I digress as usual, back to the action...

"It's okay to be afraid, Alex."
I threw my head back then, wanting to be far away from him as much as I wanted to be right where I was.
"But you have nothing to fear."  He guided my chin down with gentle fingers.  "When will you learn?"  His voice was heavy, gruff.  "You're the only person who has control over who you become.  You're too strong to ever lose yourself.  I believe that.  Why can't you?"
My breath came out shaky.  His faith in me was nearly my undoing.  The swelling in my chest would've lifted me off the mats.  Several moments passed before I could speak.  "What are you afraid of?" I asked again.
"I thought you said I was afraid of nothing once," he threw back.
"I did."
Aiden shifted slightly and his thumb caressed the curve of my cheek.  "I'm afraid of something."
"What?" I whispered.
He drew in a deep, shuddering breath.  "I'm afraid of never being allowed to feel what I do."
Huh.  Well, until next time...

Book Review: Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality

Look at me!!!!! I'm actually writing a book review!!!! Of course, it is 11pm, but I would like to give myself an A for effort.

I was so excited to get Elizabeth Eulberg's new book, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. I was really hoping this wasn't going to turn into a Stockard Channing-esque Girl Most Likely To scenario. I loved EE's other books, Prom and Prejudice, The Lonely Hearts Club and, the most recent, Take a Bow, which I reviewed last year when it came out. I loved Take a Bow. It was actually one of my favorite books of 2012.

So you can imagine my excitement when I opened up my Amazon box to find the new book inside. I could not contain myself and had to start reading right away, or soon as I finished Pure by JLA.

On a side note, the Amazon boxes are coming much less frequently now. Where are all my books? I guess I'll just have to order more.

Anyway, I kind of felt I could relate to the title. While I always had a lot of friends around me, I was never the smartest one, the prettiest one, the thinnest one, the most talented one. I was always sort of average and invisible. At least, that's how I always felt, but if I did stand out, it was never in a positive light.

For example, in 8th grade music class, our teacher was going to show us a film about some classical story. I think it might have been Scheherazade, but I thought I had heard her mumbling something about having the wrong film. Me, always eager to be of use, got up in the middle of class, grabbed what I thought was the film she wanted and took it over to her. She basically looked at me like I had two heads and was wondering what the heck I was doing. My classmates were also asking me the same question. It was pretty mortifying. I was always doing stupid stuff as I always marched to the beat of the music in my head. Apparently, though, no one else can hear it. 'Nuff said. Back to the story.

So, I'm relating to the title and figuring this was going to be a romantic read where plain Jane gets the hot guy because he can see beyond her physical appearance to the beautiful soul beneath and they will live happily ever after. So not what this book is about.

To me, this was a story about obsession and the dysfunction that can occur in pursuit of that obsession. Sure, there's romance, but it takes a backseat to the family drama and how Lexi deals with it.

My Review:
Let's meet Lexi. Lexi is a complex individual. She has a whole subscription of issues. While she is not unattractive, she does not take any care for her personal appearance choosing to wear baggy clothes and her hair in a pony tail. She has not taken an interest in how she looks since her mother told her when she was younger that she wasn't pretty.

"Sweetie, pageants are for girls like your sister. You see how pretty those girls are. You'd be much better off concentrating on something your good at, like telling jokes. Everybody thinks you're so funny. You've got a great personalty, Lex. There's no need for you to try be pretty. You've got my genes, so no decent pageant gown would fit over your hips."

Lexi's mom is a pageant mom, but the worst kind of pageant mom. Lexi's parents got divorced and her mom felt empty. She is using the pageant circuit as a way to fill the hole in her life. The problem is her family doesn't have much money and the pageants are expensive and a drain on the family budget they don't need. Every time Lexi tries to bring it up, her mother won't even talk about it. She chooses to look at life through rose colored glasses or living life as if on stage. She always has her pageant smile in place and life is wonderful.

Mackenzie is Lexi's 7 year old sister, the pageant queen, or rather the tiara toting tiny terror. They all live in Mackenzie's world and Mac is a 7 year old diva, hell to be around when she's throwing a tantrum. Nothing can interfere with Lexi's mom's pursuit of a crown for Mackenzie and the prize money. The only trouble is, Mac never wins big. She never wins enough to even cover the entrance fees.

And Lexi is only wanted by her mother and sister in as much as she can be useful to them. She is Mac's seamstress and gopher and anything else they need.

The only bright spot in all this pageantry madness is Logan. He is one of the handsome, popular boys, he's on the football team and he's dating Alyssa, the reigning queen of the pageant circuit. And he happens to be a really nice guy, so, naturally Lexi has a crush on him, but how can she compete?

She is not one of the popular kids and only has two real friends, Bennie, a teddy bear of a guy and Cam, a little spit fire. Lexi is trying to get Bennie to take a chance and put himself out there. He has always been picked on because of his size and he has come out of the closet, but not to his family. He wants Lexi to take more interest in her looks convinced she would find romance herself. So, they start to negotiate. Bennie will talk to his crush if Lexi wears a dress to school and some make-up. Lexi agrees, but Bennie has to ask him for coffee and such. They both keep upping the stakes.

Lexi transforms herself into an A crowd clone on a dare, but finds that she really does feel better about herself. She starts dating Taylor, who is also the hottest guy in school, but she still has Logan on the mind and she can't figure out if Taylor likes her for her personality or if he only became interested once she made her transformation. And then she's not sure how she feels about him either.

Things seem to be looking up for Lexi, but at what cost? Is it better to have people like you for how you look or what you're like? Does Lexi get the boy of her dreams or the boy that she needs.

I did really like the book, couldn't put it down in fact, and was up until 3am again to finish it. It only took three or four days to read. But I will warn you, if you're looking for a lighthearted romantic romp this isn't it. I do look forward to seeing what Ms. Eulberg will come up with next.


March 1, 2013
A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top 10 Tuesday - Authors you love to have or have to love

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Once again, this was difficult for me.  There are authors I love, like JRR Tolkien, but there is no more where that came from and so I did not add him to my list.  There are also authors I love, but the only books they've written are a single series.  Well, I love the series, obviously, but if they broadened their story base, would those stories stand up?  That is an unknown and, therefore, I tried to keep them off the list as well.

So, without further ado, here is my Top 10 authors I must have.

1: Neil Gaiman - The man is a genius with words. He is in a league of his own. From his adult books to children's books to comics to screenplays, I love it all. He is probably who I would consider to be the most gifted contemporary author and I have always loved tales of the fantastical. I started reading him when a friend of mine put a copy of a Sandman comic in my hand and it was all over. I was done for.

2: Terry Brooks - I read the Sword of Shannara when it first hit he shelf back in, oh, well it was some time ago and have been a fan ever since. I picked the book up for the Brothers Hildebrandt cover and stayed with him for the stories. I know a lot of people have called him the poor man's Tolkien, but it is hard to write epic fantasy and not be compared to Tolkien. He also wrote the Landover series and the Word and the Void series and I have loved them all. Of course, I am a tad bit behind on the Shannara books...

3: Meg Cabot - I saw Princess Diaries first, then read the book, then the rest of the series, then scooped up everything she was releasing. Besides the Princess Diaries series, my favorite titles would be Pants on Fire, How to be Popular and the All American Girl books. I really loved the Queen of Babble, but the sequels seemed a bit flat. Still, if she is releasing a book, I must pick it up. It is Meg who really got me started in the YA genre as an obsession because I ran out of Princess Diaries books and wanted more like it.

4: Charles DeLint - Charles DeLint is another author I have been reading since the dawn of time. The first books I picked up were Moonheart, which will always be one of my favorite fantasy books, and Riddle of the Wren. He started out writing stories based on Celtic mythology then blending in Native American mythology. He has also written stories about other mythologies. Most of his books are set in the fictitious Newford, but the stories are beautiful. He is also one of the forerunners of Urban fantasy, specifically Bodertown. If you like adult fantasy steeped in world mythology, you might want to give him a try. He and his wife are also talented musicians and his wife is an artist, so they are a very creative team.

5: Jennifer L. Armentrout - JLA (and not Justice League America) is one of my favorite new authors I have found. I only started reading her since BEA last year, but I will pick up all her books. I am currently enmeshed in Deity (the third book of the Covenant series) and now cannot put that one down.

6: Patricia McKillip - Patricia McKillip is another author who has been writing for a very long time. I have been reading her books as long as I have been reading Terry Brooks and Charles DeLint. Her writing is a little hard to describe. She weaves absolutely breathtaking stories that are very like fairy tales, although, not your traditional Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. The covers are spectacular, by Kinuko Y. Craft, who has also illustrated a lot of children's books. Jigsaw puzzles have been made of her Patricia McKillip covers and I also collect them.

7: Louise Rennison - Louise Rennison is one of those authors I found to fill the void The Princess Diaries left behind. I looooove these books. Georgia Nicholson is barmy, but her cat, Angus, steals the show. They are hi-larious and filled with lots of hotties. Perhaps I love these books so much because Georgia reminds me of myself somewhat when I was her age. The Georgia Nicholson diaries are over, but now Ms. Rennison is writing about Georgia's cousin Tallulah who is going to a performing arts school when she has no talent other than knobby knees and she has been known to break into spontaneous Irish Dancing. These books are always good for a laugh.

8: Melissa Jensen - Although she's only written two books so far, I have loved them both; Falling in Love with English Boys and The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. I have also been following her blog now that she has been uprooted from Pennsylvania and moved to Dublin. I am hoping the next book will be set in Ireland.

9: Suzanne Selfors - Suzanne Selfors is another author I have just found in the past year. I started with Mad Love and then had to pick up all her other books. I must say, though, that I am only picking up her YA books. She also writes for a younger audience. Her newest book is The Sweetest Spell and I have yet to read it, but I have found her prose to be poetic. Her other books are Coffeehouse Angel and Saving Juliet.

10: Cassandra Clare - Casandra Clare is another new author for me. Even though the Mortal Instruments series has been out for a while, I didn't pick them up until a couple Christmases ago. I had been picking picking up the Infernal Devices series (which I haven't read yet), but thought I should perhaps start with the other series. Her books have proven to be real page turners and I'm up until 3am just trying to finish the book. I really can't wait to see the movie this summer.

There are other authors I love, like Kelly Creagh, Colleen Houck, Aprilynne Pike, Janette Rallison, Stephanie Perkins, Julie Kagawa, Kate Brian, Liz Rettig, Diana Gabaldon or Jennifer Echols, but they are either a single series, I haven't picked up all their books, or I haven't read enough of the books I've already picked up.  This was tough, as they so often are, but I am comfortable with my choices.

What's on your list?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Its Just Another Manga Monday: Rin-ne Vol 10 by Rumiko Takahashi

Well, well, well.  It has been quite a while since I have been able to post a manga review.  Then again, it had been awhile since I had read any manga.  I am trying to change that, though.  And now that I have no overtime at work for the time being, I should have more time to both read and write.

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Book Description:
Release date: November 13, 2012 | Series: Rin-Ne (Book 10)
The latest series from one of Japan’ s greatest man
Ever since a strange encounter when she was a child, Sakura Mamiya has had the power to see ghosts. Now in high school, she just wishes the ghosts would leave her alone! When her mysterious classmate Rinne Rokudo shows up, Sakura finds herself following him into the amazing world between life and death!

The Shinigami Ageha caught more than she bargained for when she tried to set a trap for her troublesome Black Cat by Contract, Oboro. Now Rinne has to try and capture a giant mongoose spirit and settle Ageha and Oboro’s contract dispute!

My Review:
Well, we seem to be off the continuity trail again.  This volume is full of chapters that don't really advance the plot at all, but they are still amusing stories.

In this volume, Ageha has returned the contract to her black cat, Oboro, releasing him from servitude, but he believes it is a trick.  If he abandons his post, he'll be fined.  He pursues Ageha, but she has been swallowed by a giant mongoose spirit.  Rin-ne attempts to save her, but she has laid a trap for him as well, setting up a dimensional paradise so the two of them can be all alone.

In the second story, Rin-ne and Skaura try to assist a ghost that haunts a bus because his stop is no longer on the route.

In the third story, a ghost haunts the girls Judo club by taking pictures of the girls.

Next we have the case of the missing dues.  Rin-ne sends Rokumon, his black cat, to the Shinigami headquarters to pay his monthly dues which entitles him to discounts on Shinigami weapons and supplies.  The dues are only 500 yen, but when the dues end up missing, Rin-ne will stop at nothing to find out what happened to the money.

We have a haunting on the tennis court, Ageha trying to get rid of an expired Wandering Ghost House and finally the ghost of an office worker ready for an office party.

It's a strange assortment of stories, but always amusing.
Volume 11 is due out March 12.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Well, I have been busy stacking the boxes (of Christmas ornaments). In keeping with the theme, I can actually manage to get a STS post out.  It has been three weeks.  Where does the time go?

Because I know you are all dying to know, I'll tell you.  Hubby dearest was finally able to get the Christmas tree down into the basement.  I meant to assist, but he did it all on his own.  You know?  Without the Christmas tree, it just really opens the room up.  I have gotten most of the ornaments boxed up and even put the majority of them up in the attic.  Still more to do, but I kind of shot my back out at last weekend's Lion Dance, so it hurts a bit moving boxes.

I am motivated now, though, because progress has been made.  I feel very confident that Christmas will be put away before St Patrick's Day.

I really hope so as I really want to spend time reading and reviewing without needing to feel guilty.  It would also be nice to be able to write a post before 11pm so I'm not falling asleep as I'm typing.

But anyway, since I haven't been able to do a STS post for three weeks, this should cover all my acquisitions during that time. 

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff - I started reading a sample and found this intriguing.
Unbroken by Paula Morris - This is the sequel to Ruined which came out quite some time ago
Shards & Ashes by Melissa Marr, et al

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg - Review to come shortly
When We Collide by A. L. Jackson (Kindle Deal of the Day)
Among the Nameless Stars by Diana Peterfreund  - Prequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars – Free on Amazon
So Into You (The Jane Austen Academy Series Book 2) by Cecilia Gray – Free on Amazon
Sweethearts by Sara Zerr   Valentine’s Day Amazon deal

Girl in the Wild by Beth Orsoff –  Valentine’s Day Amazon deal
Disengaged by Beth Orsoff –  Valentine’s Day Amazon deal
Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception (Gathering of Faerie) by Maggie Stiefvater – Amazon deal of the day
When in Paris…(Language of Love) by Beverly Kendall
Pride and Popularity by Jenni James
Dark Souls: A Novel by Paula Morris
Everneath by Ashton Brodi

I am  Here! Graphic Novel 2
Missions of Love Graphic Novel 1
Missions of Love Graphic Novel 2
Negima! Magister Negi Magi Graphic Novel 34
Negima! Magister Negi Magi Graphic Novel 35
Negima! Magister Negi Magi Graphic Novel 36
Negima! Magister Negi Magi Graphic Novel 37
The Wallflower Graphic Novel 28
The Wallflower Graphic Novel 29
Beautiful Creatgures: The Manga Graphic Novel
Inu Yasha: The Final Act, Set 2

Friday, February 22, 2013

Swoon Thursday

So, what have I been doing all week? Funny you should ask.

I was all set to post for Valentine's Day. Instead of going with a swoon from my current book, I wanted to find a perfect swoon from one of my favorite books. But which book to choose? I pulled out Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, Persuasion and Emma by Jane Austen, The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, Nevermore by Kelly Creagh, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison, Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier and Love Maybe? by Heather Hepler as well as a few others. Unfortunately, what happened is I took so long reading through passages that by the time I looked up, it was past midnight and there was really no reason to post a Valentine's Day swoon anymore.

Of course, I started late since me and the hubby went to our favorite watering hole. It's our version of Cheers and it's called The Cloverleaf and it is the place where everybody knows your name. Except in my case, they all know my hubby's name and I'm like the sidekick, which really isn't fair as I've been going there as long as he has and I'll have my third PhD before him, but I digress.

Anyway, we went for dinner and beer and had a lovely time.

Friday night he was off to go playing in the woods. He has now gotten into LARPing. He dons a character and goes romping around with other merry fellows also in character and they all have a jolly time. Which usually leaves me with reading time without him asking me what I'm reading all the time or watching a movie without him asking if it is the Mimi Rodgers movie. Which I haven't seen in like two years, but every movie is the Mimi Rodgers movie to him.

Sadly, I had no time to spend in leisurely pursuits. I have been training at a Kung Fu school for the past 14 years and although I have been on somewhat of a hiatus after my neck surgery, it is Chinese New Year which, at the school, is like homecoming. It means it is time for all hands on deck and to ready the equipment and go walking the streets of Chinatown doing a Lion Dance. Well, we have dragons too. But let me tell you. Up at 5:30, get to the school, drive to Manhattan, walk all over the streets of Chinatown for 6 hours playing cymbals and gong almost continuously, getting in the car and driving to Connecticut for a show at a restaurant, getting home after midnight, getting up on Sunday to do it all again. Sunday was supposed to be Queens and it was supposed to be a shorter day. We got shut down in Queens for not having a permit, so we went to Brooklyn and had to wait for their parade to end. When we finally took to the streets, it was another another three hours in the bitter, biting cold and I didn't get home until about 9 pm, so no Stacking the Shelves post this week, whicdh is really unfair as I have gotten in some books I want to share with you all.  I am still recovering from all the activity.
For those of you who do not know, The Lion Dances are a tradition within Kung Fu schools. The Lion or Dragon will go to the local businesses and if they receive a red envelop from the business will bless it for prosperity in the forthcoming year. The idea is that the more the business gives, the more fortune they will have for the year. It actually is quite a sight to behold. We have Kung Fu demo teams that perform on the street as well, so it's a good show to see. I am always playing music so I always see very little, but I had a break during one of the stunts so I could snap off a few pictures.  They're not great or anything.  We had a lion up on a pole, which you can sort of see below with two more lions and the dragon running around underneath.

We had another outing on Monday, but I was in a bit of discomfort after the first two days and just couldn't do it. My neck is still stiff. Monday after lunch, I just basically vegged out and when Cam went to his gaming club, I just kind of stared at the TV. It is exhausting, especially when you are no longer 20. I just have not had the energy to do anything else really.

I did manage however, to finish reading Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout, so now I have yet another review to write. I'm so lame.

But it is that time once again for....

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

It's simple. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!


So, here is my swoon for the week.

His eyes zeroed in on my movements before he broke away, running a hand over his head. He let out a ragged sound and when he spoke, his voice was so low that I barely heard him. "I think...I'll remember how you looked last night for the rest of my life. Gods, you were so beautiful."


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Viva d'amore!!!
I have to say that while I have a romantic soul, I'm not overly fond of the present state of merchandising for the holiday of love.
I do not want a stuffed frog with big red lips and a pillow saying "Kiss me" or any diamond themed jewelry from Kay jewelers.
Love for me is not in the sickening sweet professions of love that overburden the sales shelves and our wallets.
Unfortunately, you can't get away from the sentiments...anywhere.
Love for me is found in all the little things my hubby does that can melt my heart.  Like when he cooks dinner when I've had a crap day, or he'll come home from the store with a surprise which turns out to be Dr Who Build-a-character package, or he'll just look at me for a moment before he tells me he loves me, or the fact that he doesn't make fun of me because of the types of books I read or that he encouraged me when I told him I was going to start a blog and he has been supportive ever since.
It's not the over the top grand gestures, it is in the every day little things.
Of course, we all celebrate love in our own ways and there is no wrong way to do it.
Whatever your profession of choice, take time every day to let your honey know how much you love him.  It doesn't have to be just one day.

Top Ten Romances In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme from the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish.
I have to say, I had a very hard time with this list. How to limit the list to just 10? And how to interpret? There are so many romances that I have fallen in love with that I couldn't list them all. And I know I will have a "no dah" moment when I read some of the other lists, but my criteria is that it is a book or series I have read more than once because I just can't get enough.
So without further ado, here is my list for this week:
  1. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon - Scotsman in a kilt. Need I say more?
  2. Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot - Mia and Michael are still my ideal couple
  3. My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day - Ever make up a boyfriend just so you don't feel left out?
  4. Megan Mead’s Guide to the McGowan Boys - An insider's guide to the inner workings of the male mind - Not for the faint of heart
  5. Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier - Fairytale beautifully told set in Romania
  6. Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen - Love, English boys. Does it get any better than that?
  7. Georgia Nicholson Diaries by Louise Rennison - Hi-larious
  8. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh - Dark and haunting tale about love found when it's already too late
  9. Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot - I could actually put all Meg Cabot books together, but I particularly love this one. Guys leaves town a nerd and comes back a hottie seemingly bent on revenge.
  10. Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone - Another haunting tale, beautifully written involving time jumping
I thought I might make a list of my favorite manga as well, but that proved much more challenging. I was in pain trying to narrow it down to 10 titles, so I cheated and made some entries an author.
  1. Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
  2. Yuu Watase: Absolute Boyfriend, Alice 19th, Ceres, Fushigi Yugi, Imadoki! Nowadays
  3. Rumiko Takahashi: Inu Yasha, Ranma 1 ½, Maison Ikkoku
  4. Mars by Fuyumi Soryo
  5. Hot Gimmick by Miki Aihara
  6. Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo
  7. Skip Beat by Yoshiki Nakamura
  8. Banri Hidaki: V.B. Rose, Tears of a Lamb, I Hate You More Than Anyone
  9. Tenshi Ja Nai! (I’m no Angel)by Takako Shigematsu
  10. Haruka, Beyond the Stream of Time by Tohko Mizuno

Saturday, February 9, 2013

A Saturday Tale

It was quiet. The recent snowfall had blanketed the street muffling the occasional sound of a vehicle driving down the street. There was no sun visible. It was hidden behind a dark bank of clouds which seemed to indicate the storm was not quite over. Most of the world had not yet awoken, unlike her.

She had awoken from a dream, the remnants of which were fleeting. There was snow and an alcoholic beverage on fire, but the visions hazy and disjointed even now as the last tendril of memory slips away and is lost.

She had been dreaming a lot of late and while never the same dream, the overlying theme was always the same; work and stress. But last night’s dream had been different. Perhaps that is why she did not roll over and go back to sleep.

Instead, she found herself staring out her window. Looking at the evergreen branch, now brown and lifeless, a silent sentinel, a witness of her solitude and quiet musings, she wondered if it would ever be removed. She thought perhaps not and she had no ladder.

The ghost of a movement caught her eye then, another testament to the fury of another storm long gone by. A piece of the eve had come loose and was hanging down, now swaying slowly in the aftermath of the blizzard. If she looked to her left, she could see the drainage pipe that had been dislodged from the gutter on the roof during the previous hurricane. The drainage pipe was set at an angle but as it was not moving, she returned her attention to the fluttering piece of the roof in front of her. It was now swaying violently and the room had gotten colder, perhaps signaling a new onslaught of the snowstorm.

He was staring again, waiting expectantly. For what, she was not sure, for warmth or food. She could not always tell what he wanted and she suspected there were times he wanted something but didn’t even know himself, only that he wanted it. But that was his prerogative and he answered to no one.

Unable to delay the inevitable any longer, she put on her Game Day jersey and headed downstairs. It was a daily routine. She would go downstairs to the kitchen and pick up the breakfast bowl from the prior day. Taking it to the sink, she would let hot water run over the bowl. While the bowl was soaking, she would go to his room, once called the laundry room, and clean out his litter pan. Returning to the kitchen, she would clean his bowl and give him fresh food. If his place mat needed cleaning or the water dish needed refilling, she would take care of that as well.

On a normal day, she would get lunch and beverages together if she were driving into the office or, if working from home, would brew a nice cuppa and head into the living room to plug in her laptop. That had been her routine for the past 9 months.

Today, however, was not a normal day. Today she made hot chocolate…with real Dutch cocoa, unsweetened of course, and milk mixing in her own amount of sugar.

After making the hot chocolate and taking care of him, she made her way back upstairs. Navigating the stairs proved to be difficult. Her leg muscles were protesting after her gym session the other day. It made walking difficult, let alone climbing up and down stairs. She went back to her room and sat looking out the window once again. The sky was brighter, at least to the east. The sun was making an appearance, although it was filtered by the cloudbank. Perhaps the sun would burn off the haze, perhaps it would snow again. It made little difference to her. She doubted she’d be going anywhere for a while. Which left only one question: What was she going to do today?

There were a million things screaming for her attention, things left undone, but she worked long hours and she worked every weekend…all weekend long. She would have had more time had she just been able to get out of bed, but the biting cold, the darkness of the early morning and the lingering traces of her nightmares have kept her paralyzed. She couldn’t rise until mid-morning, almost lunch time really, and she would have to set immediately to work, working far later than she had intended. By the time the laptop was powered down, the house was dark, the sun already having dipped below the tree line. It was always too late to take care of things in the failing light and she was always so tired.

Whether for good or ill, she found herself with an abundance of time and was not sure how to use it. Excess expenditures needed to be cut and the pool of overtime hours was the first thing to go. Whether working overtime was a way to pay the extra bills coming in or a means to avoid the world outside she hardly knew. The truth was probably somewhere in the middle, though. While in the past she would not need to plan her time, she now found the necessity of it. It is a difficult transition to make to go from having no free time to finding one has time on their hands, which has always been a problem for her. Suddenly having all the time back is crippling, she thought. She had become responsible for her own time which meant having to make decisions about her time, a thought she did not relish.

Determined to break clear of the cloudbank, the sun glinted off the ice crystals stuck to the limb that is stuck in her window frame. It’s beautiful, like diamonds, and another distraction to keep her from making any kind of a decision. She can barely look away. It’s easier than having to think.

So what to make of the day? She could write out all the bills for the month. Finances had to be reevaluated in light of yesterday’s news from her boss. She could finish washing the dishes. The big things have been getting washed, but the flatware is just piling up in the sink and soon there will be no clean forks to eat with. She could shovel more snow, but she took a long lunch yesterday working from home to shovel the sidewalk and driveway. It had added stress to her back and she was broken. She could put away the Christmas decorations. It is less than a week to Valentine’s Day and all the Christmas decorations are still up with the tree still standing in between two rooms without the top attached. Boxing up Christmas meant taking boxes up to the attic, many boxes, which would cause her leg and back muscles to protest further. She could read documents for work which she would not have to clock in to do. She could fold the prior two weeks laundry, but that would also hurt her back. She folded yesterday’s laundry last night and it was somewhat painful. She could write book reviews, reviews that are way overdue, at least a dozen. She could catch up with friends and family, actually making the attempt to contact people. She could surf the web or clean up her email which she hasn’t done in weeks so the inbox is overflowing. She should spend an hour on the elliptical, but wasn’t sure if her muscles could handle the additional stress. She could put away the baking ingredients from Christmas she never used again. She had planned to bake additional batches of cookies, to bring to work, to take to the comic book store, for the neighbors, but there was just no time. She should clean her niece’s room. It has been piling up with stuff to sort through for storage. She had promised to get it cleaned up so that it would feel like a real bedroom and not a storage room. She needed to get back to emptying out the storage facility, especially now that the additional income was no longer going to be available and the storage facility was expensive.

So many things, too many things to do. Where to start? It’s all a bit overwhelming and she sighs. She looks out the window again and sees that the branch stuck to her window frame is now dripping with icicles. Watching the melting water drip from the branches, she decides she had better get started with the day. Not able to decide what to do, she makes the only choice that would bring her any solace.

She opens a book.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Swoon Thursday

As far as Thursdays go, this has been a good one.  I do so look forward to sharing my swoon all day, but it's not just that.

Thursday is a work at home day for me, so I get to work in my pajamas.
Thursday is also gym day with my personal trainer and while my energy level has been on the low side thanks to the infant germs I was infected with, today I had a really good work out and felt for the first time like I actually had energy to do the crap Joe makes me do.
Today was a double header.  My two favorite hockey teams were playing in simultaneous games.
I got to swoon as the Penguins (my number 1 team) took down the Capitals 5 - 2 and the Devils (my number 2 team) took down Tampa Bay Lightning 4 -2.  It was a great day for hockey!

And what better way to top off the entire day than by sharing a swoon.  And what I can tell you is that JL Armentrout knows a thing or five about swooning.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by

It's simple. You take a book you're currently reading and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

So, here is my swoon for the week from Pure by Jennifer L Armentrout.

This kiss was nothing like the first one we'd shared.  It's rawness left us both breathless.  There wasn't a moment of hesitation or indecision.  There was just want and need and a thousand other powerful, crazy things.  His lips scorched mine, his hands dropping to my shoulders, sliding down my arms.  My skin burned under my sweater, but oh, this was so much more than just a kiss.  It was the way he touched the deepest parts of me.  My heart and soul would never be the same.  It was nearly overwhelming to realize something as powerful as that and it brought a sense of urgency that pushed me into the unknown.

Aiden pulled back, resting his forehead against mine.  He was breathing heavily.  What came out of my mouth next was not something I'd planned.  The three words just bubbled up my throat, barely even audible.

"I love you."  

Well that's it for now.  For those of you in the northeast, I hope you all fare well in the storm we are about to get hit with.  Be safe and keep warm and dry.

Until next time, Happy Reading!!!  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

It's Sunday and you know what that means? I have not met my weekend goal of getting Christmas put away. At this rate it will be Valentine's Day before the last box is put away. I'm a sad article.

Happily, though, I finally got a book delivery in the mail. It's been about three weeks I believe, so I finally have something worth mentioning for the STS post.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

In Books, I received:
Boundless by Cynthia Hand - Now I just need to get caught up having only read the first book
Everbound by Brodi Ashton - I also need to get caught up with these books and I haven't even read the first book yet although I started it a couple of times
Books of Magic Deluxe Edition by Neil Gaiman - Neil Gaiman...Need I say more?  I read these as comics when the y came out and picked up a TPB when that came out, but I couldn't resist the lure of the "Deluxe Edition".  What makes it deluxe you ask?  I have no idea, but I had to have it.

For the Kindle, I picked up:
Holiday Madness (A Boyfriend Thief Christmas Story) by Shanna Norris - I looooved the Boyfriend Thief so am looking forward to reading this holiday novella
Neverfall (Everbound 1.5) by Brodi Ashton - I just found out this when I was copying book covers.  As indicated before, I have to get through the first book, but I figured I'd better grab this while I could...So I'm ready.

I know it's not a huge week, but I have been having a dry spell. I guess me and the postman are on the outs again. Just as well. It gives me time to , well, not catch up, but time to read some of the other books I have. I hope you all have had a prosperous week.